We are nearing the end of the class placement process for 2019, having spent a considerable amount of time configuring balanced class groupings based on a range of factors (as previously outlined) and to ensure students’ needs are met. Placing students in classes also involves working within departmental guidelines and regulations of starting classes at or below 26 for Reception to Year 2 and 30 for Years 3 to 7.
In placing students into classes, we have considered; professional teacher judgements, the social and emotional needs of students, behaviour, gender, friendship groups, and special needs. Parent input was also considered as per the optional invitation. Requests from parents to have or not to have specific teachers or students in their child’s class were not considered.
- On Wednesday morning 12th December, students will have the opportunity to visit their new classes for 2019, where they will spend 40 minutes with their new teacher/s and classmates. Year 7 students & students not returning to Craigburn will be supervised in the hall.
- A letter with information about your child’s placement and end of year report will go home on this day.
- We ask parents and caregivers to have a positive and supportive conversation with their child regarding their new class, having trust in them to be able to adjust to the challenges of a new learning environment and to make new friends.
- Students generally adapt to their new class quickly. As the new school year commences we encourage students, teachers and parents to establish positive relationships.
- Placements in these classes are final.
- Moving a student from one class to another inevitably changes the environment of multiple class groupings and for this reason, we will not be in a position to move students.
Each year, class groupings are configured based on student enrolments across each year level. This means that composite (split, multi-age) classes will occur. Grouping students in mixed year levels is a practical necessity and in fact provides flexible options to place students. It is common practice in schools.
The wide range of student abilities in composite classes is no different from straight year level classes, where in any given year level there can be a span of 2-4 years of development. In order to cater for the differing needs of students, teachers consistently teach above and below each year’s curriculum requirements. This is why our teachers work in professional learning teams across different year levels where they plan, differentiate and assess student learning.
Research by Professor John Hattie into the effect sizes of factors that influence student achievement show that composite classes makes no difference to student learning outcomes. Respected world education visionary, Sir Ken Robinson says that the traditional 20th century model of schooling separates students based on their date of manufacture and often nothing to do with their strengths and interests. Students benefit from being placed in multi-age groupings – based on their strengths and interests as well as having the opportunity to experience peer mentoring and leadership.
Teachers working in tandem – other roles
Teachers are the same as most other people in the workforce in that they are entitled to work in a part-time capacity. This is common practice in schools.
In 2019, there will be some classes taught by two teachers, both of whom will be working in a part-time capacity. This is referred to as tandem teaching. Teachers in these situations meet regularly to plan learning programs as well establishing shared classroom routines and practices.
There are also occasions throughout the school year, where some teachers may take on an additional project / leadership role within the school or Partnership of schools for short or longer periods of time (eg one day per week). In these situations we do our best to employ teachers who know the students and school well.
Paul Luke, Principal